London Transport

London has a variety of transport options to help you get to your destination.

London Transport

London Underground (the Tube)

London underground

  • Services run: from around 05:00 to 00:30
    Night Tube: 24 hour service Friday & Saturday on Jubilee, Central, Victoria, Northern and Piccadilly lines (see tfl.gov.uk for exceptions)
  • Map
  • Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, single and return tickets), Oyster card, Contactless

Tips:

  • Tubes go Northbound/Southbound or Eastbound/Westbound – some split so you may need to change to go to the correct destination, for example, the Northern Line has two lines
  • Always ‘touch in’ (put your Oyster card) on a yellow card reader at the ticket barrier/station to start your journey.  Use the same card to ‘touch out’ again at the end (the price of your journey is calculated by touching in and out – otherwise you will be charged the maximum price)

London Overground (train)

  • Services run: from around 05:00 to midnight Monday to Saturday (from 07:00 on Sunday)
  • Map
  • Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, single and return tickets), Oyster card, contactless

Tip:

  • Always ‘touch in’ (put your Oyster card) on the card reader at the ticket barrier/station to start your journey.  Use the same card to ‘touch out’ again at the end (the price of your journey is calculated by touching in and out – otherwise you will be charged the maximum price)

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

  • Services run: in East London from 05:30 to 00:30 Monday to Saturday & from 07:00 to 23:30 on Sunday
    Map
    Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, single and return tickets), Oyster card, contactless

Tip:

  • Always ‘touch in’ (put your Oyster card) on the card reader at the ticket barrier/station to start your journey.  Use the same card to ‘touch out’ again at the end (the price of your journey is calculated by touching in and out – otherwise you will be charged the maximum price)

TFL Rail (train)

  • Services run: between Liverpool Street and Shenfield from around 05:20 to 00:30
  • Map
  • Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, single and return tickets), Oyster card, contactless

Tip:

  • Always ‘touch in’ (put your Oyster card) on the card reader at the ticket barrier/station to start your journey.  Use the same card to ‘touch out’ again at the end (the price of your journey is calculated by touching in and out – otherwise you will be charged the maximum price)

National Rail Services (train)      

  • Website
  • For most National Rail Services pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard within zones 1-9, single and return tickets) and Oyster card, contactless (within London)

Tip:

  • Always ‘touch in’ (put your Oyster card) on the card reader at the ticket barrier/station to start your journey.  Use the same card to ‘touch out’ again at the end (the price of your journey is calculated by touching in and out – otherwise you will be charged the maximum price)

London Bus

London bus

Bus 

  • Services run: from around 05:00 to 00:30 (some run throughout the night, check before you travel)
  • Night buses: run from around midnight to 05:00 (a night bus has an ‘N’ before the bus number)
  • Hopper Fare: Use the bus or tram and change to a second bus or tram within one hour and only pay for one journey
  • Map
  • Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, One Day Bus & Tram Pass), Oyster card, contactless (Please note, you can no longer pay with cash on buses)

Tips:

  • Only touch in at the start of the journey for buses and trams (do not touch out). All bus & tram journeys are set at £1.50 per journey when you pay as you go using an oyster card or contactless (to get the hopper fare you still must touch in on each journey).
  • At a bus stop, put out your arm to hail for a bus – they won’t always stop at a bus stop unless they know someone is waiting for that bus
  • Most buses will announce the next destination and show it on a screen at the front of the bus

Tram

  • Services run: in South London from around 05:00 to 00:30 Monday to Saturday (from 07:00 on Sunday)
  • Hopper Fare: Use the bus or tram and change to a second bus or tram within one hour and only pay for one journey
  • Map
  • Pay with: Paper tickets (Travelcard, single and return tickets, One Day Bus & Tram Pass) Oyster card, contactless

Tip:

  • Only touch in at the start of the journey for buses and trams (do not touch out). All bus & tram journeys are set at £1.50 per journey when you pay as you go using an oyster card or contactless (to get the hopper fare you still must touch in on each journey).

Emirates Air Line

Emirates Air Line

Emirates Air Line

  • Services run: cable car over the River Thames between Greenwich and the Royal Docks
  • Website
  • Pay with: Paper ticket (single, return or multi journey), Oyster card (single journey only)

Tip:

  • Use your Oyster card or travel card to get a discount on your travel

River Bus

  • Services run: early morning until late evening.
  • Five River Bus routes operate from 20 piers between Putney and Woolwich.
  • TFL website
  • Thames Clippers website
  • Pay with: Paper ticket (single and return), Oyster card, contactless, online, telephone, smartphone ticketing app

Tip:

  • Use your Oyster card to get a discount on some river boats

How to pay for travel

Website

Paper ticket

  • You can buy single & return tickets for travel on the Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail and National Rail services from ticket machines
  • Day travel cards are available (choose the zones you wish to travel in – for use as often as you like for a day on the tube, bus, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services within London)
  • National Rail tickets can also be purchased online
  • Paper tickets might be a more expensive option, compare prices with oyster card fares before you travel (especially for single tube tickets)

Oyster cardoyster card and tube map

  • A reusable card for use on London transport
  • It can be used to travel on a bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus services, most National Rail services in London and the Gatwick Express.
  • You can buy an oyster card in the station at a ticket machine or a kiosk. You must pay a £5 deposit
    • you can claim this back (and your remaining credit up to a limit of £10) when you leave London
    • just go to the ticket machine and follow the instructions. Find out more here.
  • You can add credit to your oyster card at a station or online
  • There is a daily cap (maximum amount you spend per day). The amounts depends on the zones you travel in and whether you only use the bus or other forms of transport. Click here for fares. Please note, there is not a weekly cap for the oyster card (unlike contactless payments)
  • You can get a discount using your Oyster card on the normal Riverboat fare on some services and the Emirates Air Line cable car
  • A Visitor Oyster card can be purchased for £3 (non refundable) and also gives you special offers and discounts at restaurants, shops, galleries and entertainment venues.

Click here to create an online account

This enables you to:

  • View your journey and payment history
  • Check the credit on your Oyster card and top up online
  • Apply for refunds (if incorrectly charged)

Contactless Payment

  • You can use your contactless credit card to travel around London – an alternative to an oyster card
  • Use to pay as you go on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail, Emirates Air Line, River Bus and most National Rail services in London
  • If you have a credit card issued from outside the UK please check with your card issuer before trying it on London transport
  • There is a daily and weekly cap (maximum amount you spend per day/week) which is determined by the zones you travel in and whether you only use the bus or other forms of transport
  • One of the main benefits of contactless to the oyster card is that you don’t have to top it up
  • Register your contactless card to track your journey and payment history and apply for refund

Travelcard

A Travelcard enables you to travel as much as you like on bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Tfl Rail and National Rail services in London.

Travelcards cover Zones 1-9, you can choose different options but ensure your Travelcard is valid for all the zones you travel through (some journeys require payment for Zone 1 no matter which route you take).

Travelcards are available for:

  • One day (paper ticket only). You have a choice of an Anytime Day Travelcard or an Off-peak Day Travelcard
  • 7 days (on Oyster)
  • Monthly (on Oyster)
  • Odd period (on Oyster)
  • Annual (on Oyster)

Tips:

  • If you are using an Oyster card and you travel in a Zone you have not paid for, you will be charged an extension fare
  • You can get discounted fares on the Emirates Air Line cable car with a Travelcard
  • You can get a discount on the normal Riverboat fare on some services

Bus and Tram Passes

  • A One Day Bus & Tram pass is issued on a single use Oyster card or as a paper ticketo Printed Bus & Tram passes are issued from ticket machines at Tube, tram and DLR stations and from London Overground, Tfl Rail and National Rail ticket offices
  • They are valid on all tram services and the entire London bus network
  • You can get a 7 Day, Monthly or Annual Bus & Tram Pass on Oyster

Useful Information

  • London transport fares are determined by the zones in which you travel. There are 9 zones, Zone 1 starting in the centre of London going out to Zone 9 on the outskirts
  • Peak journeys are: Monday to Friday (not public holidays) from 06:30 to 09:30 and 16:00 to 19:00, all other times are Off-Peak
  • Be careful of card clash – when touching in, make sure your oyster card and contactless card are not together, you may be charged twice
  • When changing trains and you see a pink card reader, tap your oyster/contactless card on it. This might save you money if, for example, you are not travelling through Zone 1 to get to your destination
  • Choose a weekly/monthly/annual fare on your Oyster card and you could save money (if used regularly)
  • Check here for discounts for students, job seekers, etc
  • Children under the age of 11 are free on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and TfL Rail services. Click here for further details and terms and conditions
  • If there is not a ticket office at your station, station staff can be found near the tickets machines or barriers and are there to help you
  • Plan your journey using the box on the right hand side of this web page to search the best routes to your destination and check for any problems or use the City Mapper app
  • There are seats designated for people (often by the doors) who find it difficult to stand. You can sit in them but it is ‘polite’ to get up if someone needs it. Pregnant women will often wear a badge saying “baby on board”.
  • Try not to have suitcases and large bags during rush hour – it could be very difficult to get on, or allow yourself extra time to get to your destination
  • Allow extra time for your journey in case travel is delayed. It can get very busy during rush hour (when people are going to and from work)
  • If you are lost, don’t be afraid to ask for directions
  • To find out about planned engineering works, delays and tube strikes, you can subscribe to email and twitter travel alerts

Useful links

Taxis

  • Black cab – these are licensed and regulated taxi services. They can be booked in advance or hailed in the street
  • Mini cab – the safest advice is to always book your cab, never use an unbooked mini cab
  • Uber

Travelling into London from the airport

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